You’re wondering: Is [HARD INQUIRY CODE] being on my credit report something I need to worry about? To put you at ease, the answer is most likely no. But it does have an effect on your credit score that you should understand.
However, you need to figure out the reason it’s on your credit report first. We explain below all of the reasons [HARD INQUIRY CODE] is on your report, and the effect it may be having on your score.
Table of Contents
What is Elan Financial Services?
As a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, Elan Financial Services provides credit card services for banks and credit unions. They also handle consumer and business cards as well rewards cards for some retailers.
If you see Elan Financial Services on your credit report, you likely applied for a credit card from a financial institution that uses Elan Financial Services to provide and process their cards.
Elan Financial Services’s affiliates
Since Elan Financial Services works with over 1,300 financial institutions in the United States and some retail brands, you may have one of their credit cards without knowing. 1 Elan Financial Services owns licenses for several cards on the Visa, Mastercard, and American Express networks.
Here are some of the financial institutions that use Elan Financial Services:
- Fidelity Investments
- Bank of Oklahoma
- Associated Bank
- United Community Bank
- Busey Bank
- Star Financial Group
- Bremer Bank
- First Merchants Bank
- Sharonview Federal Credit Union
- Desert Financial Credit Union
- Workers Credit Union
- Ent Credit Union
- MIT Federal Credit Union
- Chevron Federal Credit Union
Here are some brands affiliated with Elan Financial Services:
- BMW Motorrad
If you see Elan Financial Services on your credit report, it means you probably applied for or already have a line of credit with one of their affiliates.
Is Elan Financial Services a scam?
No, Elan Financial Services isn’t a scam—they’re a legitimate organization. As mentioned, if they’re on your credit report, it probably indicates that you have an account with them or they checked your credit.
If you’re certain that there’s activity on your credit report under Elan Financial Services that shouldn’t be there, it’s possible you’ve been the victim of identity theft.
We’ll discuss the reasons (both legitimate and fraudulent) that Elan Financial Services might be on your credit report in more detail in the next section.
Why is Elan Financial Services on my credit report?
Elan Financial Services can appear on your credit report for a number of reasons, some negative and some harmless. Here are the four most likely explanations:
1. Elan Financial Services checked your credit
You’ll see Elan Financial Services on your credit report if a company or financial institution ran a credit check to determine whether or not to issue you a credit card. This type of check can appear as a hard inquiry or as a soft inquiry.
Hard inquiries generally appear on your credit report when you apply for new lines of credit, credit cards, store cards, or loans. For example, if you applied for a credit card with your bank or credit union and they use Elan Financial Services to issue their cards, then Elan Financial Services may appear next to the hard inquiry triggered by your application.
Soft inquiries show up on your credit report when someone checks your credit but you’re not actually looking to open a new account. For example, if you received an unsolicited offer letter in the mail for a credit card issued by Elan Financial Services, then they may have triggered a soft inquiry during the prequalification process.
Thankfully, soft inquiries won’t affect your credit score. Hard inquiries will usually lower your credit score by a few points, but the effect won’t last more than a year, and the inquiry will fall off your credit report entirely after two years. 2 Note that you usually can’t remove a hard inquiry early unless the bureau added it to your report by mistake.
2. You have a credit card issued by Elan Financial Services
Elan Financial Services will appear on your credit report if you currently have or previously had a credit account with a company that uses their services. Even if you closed your account, it can stay on your credit report for 7 years (if the account was delinquent due to missed payments) or 10 years (if the account was in good standing). 3
You might find your credit account marked as closed even if you never took any active steps to close it. This can happen due to account inactivity—it’s common for lenders to close credit accounts if they haven’t been used for a while.
3. You’re an authorized user on someone else’s credit account
Elan Financial Services can show up on your credit report if someone else added you as an authorized user to their credit card and it was issued by Elan Financial Services.
You might have been named as an authorized user by your:
- Business partner
If someone designated you as an authorized user on their credit account, their activities on the account could affect your credit score. 4
If the primary cardholder is a responsible person and a reliable borrower, being an authorized user on their account will probably improve your credit score by helping you build a positive payment history. On the other hand, your credit score might drop if the primary cardholder neglects their payments or cancels their account with unpaid debt.
Similarly, your use of someone else’s credit will affect their credit score, so take care when acting as an authorized user.
4. You’re a victim of identity theft
If you see an Elan Financial Services hard inquiry on your credit report but you’re sure you didn’t apply for one of their credit accounts, it could be a sign of identity theft.
If you suspect that someone’s trying to fraudulently open accounts in your name, take these steps:
- Contact Elan Financial Services and tell them you didn’t authorize the inquiry. Ask them for details (i.e., when and under what circumstances their records show the inquiry was authorized).
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Go to www.identitytheft.gov and answer the questions to generate an identity theft report and recovery plan.
- Contact any of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report. You only need to contact one of the bureaus; they’ll coordinate with the others, and your fraud alert will be acknowledged by all three. 5
Carefully monitor your credit reports over the next few months for further signs of fraudulent activity.
How does Elan Financial Services affect my credit score?
There are several ways that an item associated with Elan Financial Services can affect your credit score, depending on whether it’s listed as an inquiry or an account.
This effect is usually cumulative, so multiple hard inquiries can lower your score significantly. However, a single inquiry usually isn’t something to worry about.
Open and closed accounts
If you have an open or closed account managed by Elan Financial Services that’s on your credit report, then it’s contributing to your credit score by influencing the following factors:
How to remove Elan Financial Services from my credit report
If you want to delete Elan Financial Services from your credit report, then try one of the following approaches.
1. Send a dispute letter
If you see an item listed under Elan Financial Services on your credit report that you suspect is a mistake, then you can dispute it by sending a dispute letter to Elan Financial Services and/or the credit bureaus.
Send your letter to your creditor if you believe the error originated with them (e.g., they reported a late payment that you actually paid on time). Send it to the credit bureaus if you believe they made the mistake (e.g., they confused you with someone with a similar name or Social Security number).
Either way, it’s usually a good idea to send copies of the letter to both parties (the bureaus and your creditor). They may contact each other as they investigate the matter, and it’s important to make sure everybody has received the relevant information.
Once you’ve filed your dispute, the credit bureau will be required to investigate and correct any inaccurate information on your report, usually within 30–45 days. 8
2. Use a credit repair company
A credit repair company will act as a middleman between yourself and your creditors (and the credit bureaus). They might be able to get a hard inquiry or other items off your credit report by helping you gather evidence and handling all the required communication.
However, be wary of scammers. By law, credit repair companies are not allowed to charge you before they’ve helped you. 9 If they ask for payment upfront, hire a different company.
Although hiring a credit repair company can save you some time and hassle in disputing items on your credit report, bear in mind that they can’t do anything for you that you can’t do yourself.
They also won’t necessarily be able to erase valid negative information or turn a bad credit score into a good credit score overnight. Think carefully before hiring a third-party company to get Elan Financial Services off your credit report.